Boston Dynamics' Spot celebrates the holidays with a Solid Snake impression


Posts: 8,484   +104
Staff member
In brief: The holidays are upon us, which usually means it's time for Boston Dynamics to show just how adept its robots are at dancing. This year, however, the company has gone for something a bit more understated: a video of quadrupedal machine Spot doing a Solid Snake impression.

Boston Dynamics likes to show off videos of its robots’ various skills, from parkour and gymnastics to cleaning and gardening. But judging from the several dancing videos it has put out over the years, the robots’ most practical use will be appearing on Dancing with the Stars.

The start of the robotics firm’s latest video suggests we’re in for another danceathon, starting as it does with a giant present sitting outside the company offices. But no, the box suddenly rises on four legs as Spot casually walks off camera, cleverly concealed just like a very famous Hideo Kojima character.

Boston Dynamics doesn’t mention Solid Snake or Metal Gear Solid in the tweet, so perhaps the resemblance to the character's favorite method of stealth is a mere coincidence. Or could it be a subtle nod toward Spot’s talents for espionage, proving that the robot can do more than just open doors, skip, and dance like Mick Jagger?

In June, car manufacturer Hyundai took a controlling stake in Boston Dynamics, which until then had been wholly owned by SoftBank. It announced plans to expand BD's global sales and service footprint for the current product line.

As for the more practical applications of Boston Dynamics' robots, they’ve been used across several industries, including the military, construction, power, utilities, manufacturing, oil, gas, and mining. A heavily modified version of Spot found a place on the NYPD, but the force terminated its $94,000 contract with Boston Dynamics following a public backlash against what appeared to be the first steps toward a dystopian police state.

Permalink to story.



Posts: 4,571   +6,881
There are pros and cons to police robots (drones, really). I like the possibility of being able to face down the most dangerous criminals without risking the lives of law enforcement officers. What I don't like is the threat of such weapons being hacked or abused. However, with drones now being commonly employed by drug dealers, terrorists and anarchists to deliver contraband, spy on police and even carry deadly weapons the authorities really have no choice but to respond in kind.

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
Sadly and unfortunately, where there is even the most remote possibility of abuse you can be assured that it will happen. This will only stop when there are equally enforced penalties held against ALL abusers, regardless of their position, rank, or untouchability ...